Published on May 5th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Nissan and Gran Turismo pair up again for the seventh year of the Nissan GT Academy
Nissan’s GT Academy has been one of the most interesting motorsport development programs. Nissan definitely has the funding to develop motorsport drivers, and anyone well versed in the world of motorsports and talent building will understand the costs involved and the amount of effort required just to get a foot in the door.
The GT Academy was interesting in that it circumvented the standard motorsport induction route, where young drivers had to start karting at an early age and be consistently competitive in order to be scouted by race teams. The academy would have series of competitions on the ever-popular Gran Turismo racing simulator, and the fastest drivers would be selected to undergo a training and selection process.
From what we’ve seen of the previous GT Academy programs, training can be gruelling and it is aimed at weeding out contenders who aren’t up to racecar driver standards. They have to understand more than just driving dynamics, as setup and the engineering aspect of a racecar are just as important for a competent racecar driver.
The European version of GT Academy is made even more attractive with the news that Race Camp, the final selection process for the winner, will move from Silverstone to the incredible Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates. If the trip to Abu Dhabi to drive Nissan sports cars on a leading F1 circuit is not prize enough, the winner will enjoy a life-changing new career with extensive international travel, top-level on-the-job-training, a great team surrounding them and a stunning company car.
The GT Academy competition has a proven track record. After a series of challenges at Race Camp to unearth the winner, he or she will be put through one of the most advanced Driver Development Programmes in the world. The intense and comprehensive training will ready them for the ultimate prize – a season’s racing in the competitive Blancpain Endurance Series driving a 550bhp Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 race car.
Since its inception in 2008, the success of GT Academy has continued to grow, underpinned by the stunning results produced by its graduates, who have had their lives transformed, becoming ‘NISMO Athlete’ racing drivers. In 2015 alone, GT Academy graduates will compete in the top-level of the Le Mans 24 Hour race as well as in Formula 1 feeder series GP3, the FIA World Endurance Championship, the Blancpain GT3 series and the top class of the Japanese Super GT series.